SAGE Journal Articles

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LO 13-1

An Examination of Organizational Justice Among Correctional Officers in Adult Prisons
Description: ACLU webpage for Private Prisons

Abstract: The concepts of justice and fairness are commonly examined in the literature on criminal justice, except for the issues affecting organizational justice in the workplace. Organizational justice has two properties: distributive justice (the focus on the outcome of a decision) and procedural justice (the decision-making process that leads to the outcome). The authors surveyed 1,200 correctional officers across one state's prison system. Both organizational justice dimensions were leading predictors of job stress and variants of organizational commitment (i.e., climate for learning and type of organizational climate). Procedural justice was related to individual perceptions of fear and perceived risk of inmate victimization. A positive work environment was more likely to occur when employees had a moderate to high sense of equity, which influenced factors related to acceptance of change, stronger commitment to the organization, and better understanding and agreement with organizational goals. Study findings reaffirm the need for administrators to support organizational justice through expanded use of work team processes whereby staff are involved in assessing organizational functionality and recommending improvements.